A Cheyenne resident was found unconscious after Cheyenne Fire Rescue says "a carelessly left pan with burning food on the stove" sparked a fire in their apartment.

Battalion Chief Kipp Sanders says firefighters were called to the scene in the 1700 block of E. 17th Street shortly before 4 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, and arrived to find the victim passed out at the bottom of the stairs near a basement apartment.

"I'm not sure exactly where they found them in relation to (their basement apartment) where the fire occurred, so I don't have information in regards to what their intention was," Sanders told KGAB Radio.

Sanders says the victim was taken to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center for treatment and later released.

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He says the fire -- which crews had under control in just a couple of minutes -- was contained to the stove, so it did not do any kind of structural damage to the apartment.

"It was mostly just smoke ... and it was kind of contained in that apartment," he said. "So there was obviously smoke damage throughout the apartment, but difficult to quantify."

Sanders says thankfully the apartment complex had working smoke alarms, and all of the other occupants in the building were able to get out safely and call for help.

"Cooking fires are the number one cause of fires across the country and having working smoke alarms is absolutely crucial because ... if this happened during the daytime somebody driving by might have seen the smoke and called it in, but at 3 o'clock in the morning we know Cheyenne's kind of a ghost town and there's not a lot of people out and about and so it takes a lot longer for that to get noticed without having working smoke alarms," he said.

Sanders recommends residents follow these safety guidelines while cooking:

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while the food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire -- oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains -- away from your stovetop.

Here Are Fire Safety Steps For Your Family

Thanks to our friends at the City of Mills Fire Department and Alertall.com these steps should be discussed and practiced with your entire family and anyone else that lives with you.

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